Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

What’s On Your Grill?

Posted by terrepruitt on August 16, 2021

Summer is almost over. What are you favorite BBQ/grilling foods? Last night while my husband was grilling some steaks I had him cook some potatoes and zucchini. So easy. We have a bag of very small potatoes, about the size of a boiling onion. So I just cut the “large” ones in quarters and the smaller ones in half and put them in an aluminum foil “packet” with some onions, oil, garlic salt, and season salt and he grilled them for about 45 minutes. They were delicious.

Another thing I love is grilled bell peppers filled with feta. I am sure I have mentioned them multiple times because they are so good.

I didn’t take a picture of the potatoes in their packet, but snapped my plate afterwards.

What is your favorite BBQ/grilling food?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Zucchini, Chicken, Tomatoes, And Browned Garlic Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 29, 2018

The other day I made dinner from leftovers so I really had no intention of posting about it. But I can’t stop thinking about it because it was so good. I throw a lot of dinners together and I can say I like them, but sometimes some are just way better than others. I am not a fancy eater so I am not a fancy cook. I use the same basic ingredients and spices over and over. (Yes, I think of Marge Simpson!) Sometimes I get adventurous and use a different spice, but when I am just trying to throw dinner together in a hurry and use what is in the fridge, I use the same old things. Sometimes my leftovers have an amazing second life and that is what happened the other day. I used some leftover chicken and broccoli rabe to make a pasta dish. It was yummy. The secret was the browned garlic. Not even garlic cloves, just powered garlic, but it tasted just like the fried garlic cloves from my childhood.


Zucchini, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Browned Garlic Pasta

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can chicken, drained
Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt
a few pieces of broccoli rabe, cut into smaller pieces

2 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
garlic salt
garlic powder
two handfuls of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
thin spaghetti

Now the chicken mixture I used was left over from the night before. So in order to not overwhelm the other flavors you don’t want to use a lot of broccoli rabe.

Heat up the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot toss in the chopped onion. Cook the onions then add the broccoli rabe pieces. Sprinkle is with garlic salt (or the Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt, if you have it). Keep stirring and mixing up the broccoli rabe, onions, and salt. Then add the drained chicken.  Sprinkle a little bit garlic salt and a little bit of cumin over the meat. Then sprinkle a little turmeric – enough so that you see it on all of the chicken, but not too much. Mix and cook.  Remember that the chicken is cooked so you are just warming it and allowing all the spices to be absorbed into it to flavor it.

Turn the saucepan on to boil the water for the spaghetti.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a dish for later. Or if you want to have two pans going at once:

Melt the butter in the pan. Turn the pan up high, let the butter start to get brown then throw in the zucchini. As the zucchini is cooking add some garlic salt (or the Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt, if you have it). Move the zucchini around, trying to brown both sides. – Somewhere in here you are going to add your thin spaghetti to the boiled water to cook. – As you are moving the zucchini and going for that nice browned color, sprinkle some garlic powder into the pan. The pan is hot enough that when the garlic powder hits the hot pan it starts to brown pretty quick. Keep stirring to allow that browned garlic to adhere to the zucchini helping it to brown. Once your zucchini is almost done to your liking, add the chicken mixture. Mix it all together. Then depending on how cooked you like your tomatoes add them. Sprinkle more garlic salt on to incorporate the tomatoes into the flavor of the dish.

Once your chicken, zucchini, tomato, broccoli rabe mixture is cooked. Add it to your drained pasta.


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I don’t typically cook SPAGHETTI. I do not like it as much as linguine. I usually use linguine for pretty much all my pasta dishes. But I was in the store not too long ago and I saw “thin spaghetti”. I thought it was just like angel hair pasta – which I do not like, so I wasn’t going to bother. But when I held them up together the thin spaghetti did not look as thin as the angel hair pasta so I thought I would try it. I like it. I will probably still stick to linguine, but I might pick up the thin spaghetti every once in a while.

Anyway, this was really good. I really liked it. I am convinced it was the “browned” garlic. The dish tasted like the garlic cloves from my childhood. Now, honestly when I was a child I didn’t really like the fried garlic. But when I got older I did. And I do. I just don’t make it because – that is just a lot of garlic fragrance to subject people to. So this is prefect in that I get that flavor, but I don’t go around smelling like really STRONG garlic (face it, I am pretty sure I always smell like garlic, but not as much as when you fry it and eat it).

Do you like garlic? Do you like angel hair pasta? Do you like cooked tomatoes?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Zucchini Slicing Made Easy

Posted by terrepruitt on June 11, 2018

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitYou may know that I love to roast vegetables in the oven.  That is my favorite way to cook them and my favorite way to eat them.  Roasting is so easy to me.  I can wash and chop/cut then put it in the oven with a timer (that is the key, because I don’t really want to “forget about it”) and then go do something else.  I have been craving zucchini lately.  Roasted zucchini slices.  Even though I enjoy cooking, I am not great at it.  I don’t have knife skills at all.  In fact when I am using a knife I always hear my friend telling her daughter to hold the knife properly because the daughter was using her index finger on the top of the knife and that is how I cut.  It helps to keep my wrist aligned, but apparently it is not the proper way to hold and cut with a knife.  So the explanation about my knife skills – or lack there of – leads me to my zucchini slices.  I don’t always cut them all evenly.  If I take a lot of time I can do them even, but by the time I am wanting to throw the veggie in the oven I do not have a lot of time so I want to do it quick.  And quick is when they become very uneven.  When they Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitare uneven some end up burning while the others are not cooked.  A couple of weeks ago I realized I could use my mushroom slicer.  I know, I know, this is one of those things where I am very late to the party and many of you know this and probably do it.  But I am confident not everyone has thought about it.

Sometimes I think of things to post about and I decide not to because I think everyone knows it.  But then I read a blog post or I watch one of those “life hack” videos and I realize that even though I have known that particular thing “forever” not everyone does.  It is a good idea to share and those that know can comment or just ignore it and those that don’t can learn something new, right?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo I cut the zucchini the size of the slicer and then — push, wiggle (I have to wiggle them out of the slicer) – voila!  They are all the same size.  There are a few that get cut a little thinner because it might not be perfectly in the slicer, but way less than when I slice by hand.  AND it is done so much faster.  I am sure they even have a slicer like this named a zucchini slicer or a vegetable slicer.  They have so many gadgets for so many things!

I know people have used egg slicers for mushrooms.  I am sure for other veggies too.  The reason I like this particular mushroom slicer is that is has blades and not wires.  I think I had a wire one and it broke.  So I was excited to have found this one.  I don’t even remember where I got it!

I have been enjoying a lot of zucchini slices lately.  I have been just ahead of the peak zucchini season, but now it is here so I will keep on enjoying them.

Do you like zucchini?  How do you slice ’em?

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Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Beef, Beans, Mushrooms, Zucchini, And Cheesy Tortillas

Posted by terrepruitt on April 9, 2013

My cat has been on a “bland diet” of beef and sweet potatoes.  I keep thinking “today is the day” — meaning, today will be the last day, but until “things” have gotten back to normal I am not comfortable putting her back on her cat food.  Part of the prescription of the bland diet was “very lean” beef.  So I am feeding my cat lean beef.  One day I was about to cook two dinners.  One for my cat and one for my hubby and I.  Then I realized I could just cook one.  So I put away what I had originally planned for my hubby and I and just cooked up some beef for us too.  As I was cooking the meat I was thinking of what veggies I had in my fridge . . . yeah, my door note does not always get updated.  Of course I couldn’t remember but when I opened the door I spotted the mushrooms . . . cool, I decided to put the meat on/in tiny tortillas with some mushrooms and cheese.  Then, I decided that in addition to mushrooms I would add some garbanzo beans.  As I was putting something in the fridge I spotted the zucchini and I decided to grate some of that into our mushrooms.  I was making this dinner up as I was cooking it!  (I can do that when I don’t have a Nia class.)

I have to cook the cat’s meat without flavoring, so I figured I would just salt the meat after and put some raw onions on it.  I figured that would be enough flavor.  But then I took hers out to prepare it and I left ours in the pan and I added cumin and garlic salt.  I am starting to add cumin to different things now.  Ever since I used it in my adjusted version of Bobby Deen’s Red Beans and Rice recipe.  It was not a spice I was accustomed to cooking with.  I like it.

We ended up with a pretty tasty dinner, I think.  I think the raw onions on the topping it all off really gave it the perfect finishing touch.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaBeef, Beans, Mushrooms, Zucchini, And Cheesy Tortillas

small wedge of onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
four shakes of garlic salt
half of a zucchini, grated
four shakes of garlic salt
1 can of garbanzo beans
four shakes of garlic salt
1/4 of a pound beef
four shakes of cumin
four shakes of garlic salt
10 small thin slices of cheese
five tiny corn tortillas

Heat the oil and onion (save some for garnish), then put the mushrooms in, add garlic salt.  Cook them until they are almost done, then put the grated zucchini in, add garlic salt.  Cook until it looks done almost done, then add the beans and the garlic salt. In a different pan, cook the beef with the cumin and garlic salt.

When the mushroom mixture and beef are almost done, heat the tortillas, melt the cheese on the tortillas.  Spoon the beef onto four of the cheesy tortilla, then spoon the mushroom bean mixture.  Top with raw onions.  (One tortilla was meatless!)

I had to cook the meat separate because of my cat, but if I were just making this for us I would cook the mushrooms first . . . I like my mushrooms caramelized, then I would add the beef . . . and I would use more so that it would work for all five tortillas.  I would add the cumin to the meat.  Then I would add the zucchini, then the beans.  I don’t like the beans to get to cooked so I add them last.  With each ingredient I would add garlic salt.

I have an electric grill/panini press I used for the tortillas.  I grilled them.

This was very good.  I will be making this again.  But since we rarely have ground beef (we are only eating it because the cat is!) I will use our regular ground turkey.

I like cooking with cumin!

I know I don’t come up with very inventive stuff, but we like it and sometimes all you need is an IDEA of what to cook for dinner.  Maybe this will help you.

What do you think?  Any ideas on what you might add?

Posted in "Recipes" | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Zucchini Has Antioxidants and Vitamins

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2012

I don’t think I really knew that the zucchini is a hybrid of the cucumber.  I do sometimes have trouble telling them apart when they are cut up in a salad, but I never really thought about their relation.  I guess I figured they were related somehow.  Since zucchini and cucumbers are related that makes zucchini a fruit.  Geez louise.  I would be in so much trouble if my life depended upon knowing the difference between what actually is a fruit and what isn’t.  Most of the vegetables I think of as vegetables are actually fruits.  The culinary world and the world of botany doesn’t always match up.  Wiki describes the zucchini in the following appetizing way:  “swollen ovary of the zucchini flower”.  Yeah thanks, I want to eat swollen ovaries. 🙂 I am mostly familiar with the green zucchini, however, it is called a summer squash.  I call yellow zucchini squash, not zucchini.

You might see recipes calling for courgettes . . . that is zucchini.

In regards to nutrition, zucchini are low in calories.  They are a great source of antioxidants.  In about 100 grams of zucchini there is 17 mg of vitamin C.    It seems the best way to get the most antioxidants out of the fruit is to steam them.  I am not sure I’ve tried them that way.  I like to roast them, but the time involved to get them the way I like them usually keeps me from making them that way.  As I mentioned in my Grated Zhuccini is GREAT post I actually like to grate them and mix them into other foods.  I think they go great with linguine and rice.  Not linquine and rice together, but one or the other.  A comment made on that post was asking if they are stringing when they are grated, but they are not, after it is cooked it has the consistency of cheese.  My last mix was turkey . . . . which is yummy too.  I also like them raw, sliced paper-thin, in green salads.

My mom makes them into cheese boats.  That’s a great way to cook them too.  Kind of like the eggplant I did, but she takes a little out from the middle and then puts cheese in them.  I only did that once.  That was really good.

Zucchini has a few of the B vitamins, as you can see below.

Also since the seeds contain Omega 3, zucchini might be one of those anti-inflammatory foods that can help with the inflammation of the body.  So many other foods (sugar, dairy, foods with transfat, refined grains) ADD to chronic inflammation it is always nice to get the foods into our diet that help combat it.  I say “might” because the information I read had said that studies have yet to prove . . . but if the seeds have Omega 3 the might help in the battle.

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According to WHFoods, 1 cup (113 grams) of raw zucchini contains:

vitamin C 32%

molybdenum 18%

vitamin B6 12.5%

manganese 10%

vitamin B2 9.4%

potassium 8.4%

folate 8.1%

fiber 4.9%

magnesium 4.8%

vitamin A 4.5%

phosphorus 4.2%

vitamin K 4.2%

vitamin B1 3.3%


copper 3%

vitamin B 32.7%

protein 2.7%

omega-3 fats 2.5%

Calories (18) 1%

Since is it summer time here and they call zucchini a summer squash, it’s a good time to post about it.  Especially since I received some in my organic produce box.

How do you prepare zucchini?  Which color do you use?  Which is your favorite?

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Grated Zucchini is GREAT

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2012

As a Nia teacher, my schedule changes a bit sometimes.  I had recently added an evening Nia Class to my Nia Class Schedule that just wasn’t getting the attendance I needed in order to keep it going.  So sadly there is no longer Nia in Campbell on Monday evenings.  The end came rather quickly so the announcement time was short, but sometimes it is better to just rip the bandage off and move on.  The opportunity given to cancel the class was wonderfully kind so I took it.  You know how I have to cook on Sunday to be ready for Monday.  Well, that Sunday’s cooking plan got de-railed because of a party so at the party in my head I was planning on spending my Monday afternoon cooking, but in the wee hours on Monday morning the opportunity arrived to cancel the class.  So I actually was able to cook Monday’s dinner on Monday evening.  Thankfully there were leftovers, because I was asked to sub for a class on Tuesday.  I was still working through my vegetables that I had received.  I had received two zucchini.  Since I have been out of cucumber I have been putting the zucchini in our salads.  I like raw zucchini in salads, but I like it sliced REALLY thin.  I had used a half of zucchini for salads.  I don’t often buy zucchini because the only way I know how to cook it is to roast it or cook it in a pan where you lay the rounds out in the pan.  Then you have to flip each little round to make certain they get brown and yummy on each side.  That is a bit too time-consuming for me sometimes.  That is how I usually cook it, because I forget about grating it.  When I remember I am so happy.  Grated zucchini is GREAT!

I don’t remember where I first learned about grating it.  But I know the first thing I did with it was mix it with pasta.  I am not a big tomato fan.  I have never liked tomato based pasta sauces.  When I cook pasta it is usually dressed with a little butter and cheese or olive oil and garlic, but not tomato sauce.  So one time I grated some zucchini then sautéed it.  I tossed it with the cooked pasta and VOILA my husband actually liked it.  He is not a big pasta fan so to have him like it was great.  As I said I don’t remember when I learned about grating zucchini but it was a long time ago.  And I haven’t done it that often since.

Recently I was visiting my mom and she puts slices of zucchini in her salad.  So I came home and bought some to put in our salads, which I did, but then  I remembered about grating it and I added it to rice.  Again, I was reminded of how good that is.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaAs I was wondering what to cook for dinner Monday night, I was thinking I would use my baby bok choy with the ground turkey I had taken out to defrost on Sunday.  But when I took the lone bunch out of the fridge it just seem too lonely to mix with all that turkey.  So I decided to use the zucchinis that I had left.  As usual, as I was cooking I thought I should take a picture because I will probably post about it, but then I thought, “No, I won’t post about it.”  But here I am posting about it because I think that grated zucchini is GREAT (Ok, I like saying that!) and I want to share.  I don’t know many people who grate zucchini and add it to things.

So while I was not really that impressed with the entrée overall, I did love the turkey and zucchini.  I grilled some corn tortillas and lined a 9X13 baking dish with them.  My plan was to cook the turkey and zucchini with my “normal” mix of onions and garlic.  I had forgotten until after that I had originally planned to add a bit of Nutritional Yeast for an extra “cheesy” flavor.  Half way through cooking I decided to see if we had and taco seasoning.  I decided NOT to look at the ingredients on that package and I dumped it in the meat.  Then I added the zucchini.  Then I thought, “Well this is going to be weird.”  Well, I might have ended up being weird, but I liked it.  I put the meat on top of the tortillas then put some cheese on top.  Part way through I remembered the green onions and the Nutritional Yeast so I threw them on top.

I use my blog as a bit of a recipe book and to remind me of things.  With this post about how much I enjoy grated zucchini I am sure that I will remember to use it more often.  I might not mix it with taco flavoring but I do love it with pasta and rice.  Since it is is so good I am going to experiment with it an other things.

Do you ever grate zucchini?  How do you cook it?  What do you add it to?

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Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »